Microsoft Project Custom Formula Guide

Custom formula fields and graphical indicators can be used with any version of the desktop  Microsoft Project application, as well as with Project Server.

The following steps will help you get started with creating your own custom fields and graphical indicators.  You can refer to the examples included in this document for the specific field settings required to define a custom field and associated graphical indicator.

To create a custom field in the “standalone” version of Microsoft Project, do the following:

  1. Start the Microsoft Project application.
    • If you are using Microsoft Project 2003 or 2007, from the menu, select Tools…Customize…Fields.
    • If you are using Microsoft Project 2010 or 2013, from the ribbon, select the Project tab, and click the Custom Fields button.
  2. From the Type drop down, select the type of custom field you want to create (Text, Flag, etc.).
  3. From the Field options, select Task or Resource. All of the examples in this document pertain to Task custom fields.
  4. From the Field list, select the field you want to define (Text1, Text2, etc.).
  5. Click the Rename button to assign a meaningful name to the custom field (e.g., Should Have Started).
  6. Click the Formula button, and a dialog box will be displayed.
  7. Type the formula as shown in this document, and click OK.
  8. Click the Graphical Indicators button, and select the options as shown with the examples in this document.
  9. To create a custom field for Project Server, from the Server Settings page in the Project Web App, select Enterprise Custom Fields and Lookup Tables. Click the New Field button, and enter all of the field settings as described in this document.

The examples in this guide will help you get started with creating custom fields in Microsoft Project.

Download the Complete Guide or simply view the formulas below

If you have any suggestions for other useful fields that the MPUG community would benefit from, please email them to  Each month, we will publish some of the best submissions, and the number one suggestion will be awarded the prestigious “Top Field” award!

 Formula Cheat Sheet

Please refer to the complete guide for more detailed descriptions and instructions.

  1. Display Red, Yellow, or Green Light Indicator Based Upon Finish Variance Threshold
    Formula:  [Finish Variance]
  2. Task Needs To Be Baselined
    Formula:  [Baseline Start] = ProjDateValue(“NA”)
  3. Task Start Date or Finish Date Needs To Be Updated
    Formula:  Switch(Date()>[Start] And [% Complete]=0,”Should Have Started”, Date()<=[Finish] And [% Complete]<100,”Should Have Finished”, Date ()<=[Start],””, Date()<=[Finish],””)
  4. Tasks That Do Not Have Dependencies
    Formula:   IIf(([Predecessors]=”” Or [Successors]=””) And [Summary]=False,True,False)
  5. Summary Tasks That Have Dependencies
    Formula:   IIf(([Predecessors]<>”” Or [Successors]<>””) And [Summary]=True,True,False)
  6. Summary Tasks That Have Resources Assigned
    Formula:   IIf([Summary]=True And [Resource Names]<>””,True,False)
  7. Tasks That Do Not Have Resources Assigned
    Formula:   IIf([Summary]=False And [Milestone]=False and [Resource Names]=””,True,False)
  8. Tasks That Have Negative Total Slack
    Formula:   IIf([Total Slack]<0,True,False)
  9. Unfavorable Variance on Critical Path
    Formula: IIf([Finish Variance]>0 And [Critical]=True,True,False)

Download the complete guide for more information


Created by your friends at MPUG and Project Widgets

widgets logo


Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think!


Next Webinar

Webinar: ProjectTalk – Decorating Your Project Schedules

Avatar photo
Written by Community

Where Project Managers and Microsoft® Meet.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply